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Soft Real-Time Traffic Communication in Loaded Wireless Mesh Networks

Aisa, J. Aisa ; Fotouhi, H. Fotouhi ; Villarroel, J. Villarroel ; Almeida, L.

Soft Real-Time Traffic Communication in Loaded Wireless Mesh Networks, Proc IEEE World Conf. on Factory Communication Systems - WFCS, Aveiro, Portugal, Vol. ., pp. . - ., May, 2016.

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Industrial applications have been shifting towards wireless multi-hop networks in recent years due to their lower cost of deployment and reconfiguration compared with their wired counterparts. These wireless networks usually must support real-time communication to meet the application requirements. For this reason, Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) are potential candidates for industrial applications as they support a fixed infrastructure of static nodes for relaying packets. To meet the application demands, we modify the wireless chain network protocol (WICKPro) to support soft real-time traffic in WMNs with chain topologies over IEEE 802.11. We employ tele-operation of mobile robots as our case study, and perform extensive simulation and laboratory experiments. We show that the data delivery ratio is increased up to 42% in a scenario with 7 nodes, when the maximum end-to-end delay tolerated by the application is doubled. This is particularly suited to soft real-time applications that can trade longer delays by higher reliability. Moreover, when compared with a distributed priority-based token-passing protocol (RT-WMP), the lower overhead of WICKPro allows, in an error-free scenario, obtaining a throughput improvement of 33.42% on average.